The construction industry has lots of jobs you may be familiar with like roofers, flooring installers, glaziers, or masonry workers. In this guide, will we be focused on the entry-level construction job: Construction Laborer.
Construction Job Description & Job Application
Construction Laborers are skilled workers who do a variety of tasks around the job site. You will see laborers preparing the site which can include cleaning the area. They also unload and set up materials. As more specialized work, like electrical or plumbing, takes place they assist in completing those projects. Afterward, they help maintain the tools and equipment and clean up the job site to help ensure everyone’s safety. Starting here is also a great way to gain real-world experience and to get exposed to a number of career opportunities. We’ll learn more about those later.
A construction job requires physically demanding work that varies by location and season. For example, on civil projects like road construction, the majority of the work may take place at night. In colder climates work may be limited during the winter months because of frozen ground.
There are a wide variety of project types to consider as well. In residential work, construction workers are building or renovating homes or apartments. Commercial efforts include building offices and manufacturing facilities. Civil construction workers will be focused on large infrastructure projects like roads and bridges.
Applying for construction industry jobs is pretty straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind for a successful application. Job seekers typically rely on referrals and recommendations. The process includes a written application, interviews, a background check, and verification of your certifications. If you want to learn more about how to interview successfully, you visit our blog post about the most frequent interview questions.
Construction Job Requirements and Duties
Employers are looking for general characteristics and specific skills for their construction company. The first thing on the list is a great work ethic. Construction workers are expected to put in 40 hours and, if a project falls behind schedule, there can be lots of overtime. Next is the ability to learn quickly. Things change quickly on a job site and you may be asked to use a new tool or to take on a new task at any time. You will also need some math skills. Don’t worry, you won’t need any calculus, but you will need to handle some calculations and measurements. Employers also look for construction workers who pay attention to details and are reliable. As you progress in the industry you will see how challenging it is to work with unreliable people.
Construction managers are also looking for some specific skills. You should be proficient with hand tools like cordless drills, hammers, screwdrivers, and channel locks. Workers should also be pretty strong. Most ads include a requirement for workers who can lift anywhere from 50-75 lbs. You should also have a good balance and feel comfortable with heights.
Construction Job Salary
Construction salaries vary by region and experience, but here are the national average salaries for a few of the most common construction industry jobs:
1) Construction laborer or helper: $37,000 ($18/hr)
2) Painters: $42,000 ( $20/hr)
3) Flooring Installer: $43,000 ( $21/hr)
4) Carpenter $49, 500 ( $24/hr)
For more specialized skills like plumbing or electrical work, the average salaries are in the mid-’50s. Keep in mind that employers require a high school diploma for most construction professionals because they provide on-the-job training at no cost to their employees.
In addition to the salary, jobs with larger companies usually include full healthcare and retirement benefits.
Is construction a good job?
Construction isn’t just a good job it’s a great career! Between 2020 and 2030 the industry is expected to continue its growth. Jobs for construction workers are expected to increase by 7% during this decade.
There are jobs and opportunities for you at every stage of your career. As a construction worker, you will work with specialized labor and with management to make the project successful. There are several interesting jobs in both areas that you can pursue until you find your dream job.
Professionals who have a specialty include plumbers, electricians, elevator installers, and hazardous material handlers. Those jobs require a certification and people who pursue careers like these start off as helpers or apprentices. They will progress to a “Journeyman” and eventually to a “Master” of their craft.
If your career development goals include getting into an office, there are roles in construction management and project management. As a construction manager, you will oversee all the elements of construction. A project manager oversees everything beginning with selecting the right location for the project. With either job, you will manage a team and your responsibilities will include controlling the cost of the project. Both jobs offer healthy salaries and benefits, and you will need a bachelor’s degree for them.
The last step in your career development is to start your own business. You will be able to select the projects to bid on and build the team you want to work with.
How to get a construction job?
Now that we’ve covered the job description, duties, and salary, let’s talk about how to get a job as a construction worker.
There are plenty of job postings, but, like most industries, job placement also involves relationships and referrals. After applying and interviewing there may be an onsite test to make sure that you have the skills you described in your interview. For jobs that require a certification, you will be required to provide the certification as part of a background check. You may also need to provide your driver’s license so your employer can verify that you have a valid license.
For more interview tips check out our interview series.
Construction Job Openings
Job seekers in the construction industry will enjoy a healthy market for their services. Annually there are more than 160,000 openings and that number is expected to grow by 7% from 2020 to 2030.
As a construction worker, you are entering a great career. You will enjoy a good salary and benefits as well as opportunities for advancement. Unlike other hot careers, construction workers often cite the intangible benefits of their work as the favorite aspects of their career. They enjoy building things and working with a team. They also enjoy the variety of projects and the opportunity to learn on the job.
Now that you’ve learned about the industry, you can create your profile on BlueRecruit and start your career in the construction industry today.